Yesterday’s gospel reading was the “Parable of the Rich Fool” – Luke 12:13 – 21. This parable is about a rich man who has so much grain he doesn’t know what to do with it. He decides to tear down his old barns and build a bigger one. He figures he will be all set for the rest of his life and can now “Eat, drink and be merry.” Wrong.
You see, after he finished the barn, God decided to end the rich man’s life and as we all know, you can’t take it with you. Reading this you might think God wants us to live in poverty but I’m not sure that is it. Rather, I think he wants us to have enough to take care of ourselves but to take care of others as well. We should be comfortable and not be greedy.
But what is comfortable? One person’s definition of comfortable can be another’s definition of poverty. Especially in this era of materialism we live in. For some comfortable means a big house, three cars and all the latest toys and gadgets and it still isn’t enough. They want more. These people spend all their time and energy chasing after what will not bring them true happiness. They worry about tomorrow and getting more, and all the time all they need is right in front of them.
I lived that way for a long time. Chasing after an artificial level of comfort. Never reaching it, while all the time I already had everything I needed. It was when I read the paragraph following the “Parable of the Rich Fool” that the light of understanding shone upon me.
He said to [his] disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them… As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides.New American Bible. (2011). (Revised Edition, Lk 12:22–31). Washington, DC: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, we need to live for today, keeping the end always in mind. We need to do our best everyday to live the life that will get us to heaven.